BOSTON – A game like Saturday afternoon serves as Exhibit A that the Bruins are enjoying some much more fortuitous bounces in their favor these days.
Boston enjoyed a couple of breaks in their direction that led to goals and helped guide them to a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden, and both played big roles in the regulation victory for the Black and Gold.
The first good luck moment was a Patrice Bergeron rebound goal that snapped a 1-1 tie in the second period, and put the B’s in the driver’s seat as the recently eliminated Florida tried to hang with the Bruins in the middle of the game. The play itself was a nice pull-back play by David Pastrnak on the wing, who fed Zdeno Chara for a point shot that Bergeron banged home the rebound on as Brad Marchand screened in front.
The Panthers challenged that Marchand interfered with Florida goalie Reto Berra at the time of Bergeron’s rebound bid, but replays showed that the B’s left winger didn’t come into contact with the Florida goalie until after the puck was already by him. Unfortunately the Bruins have seen those challenges go against them even when the evidence seems very much in their favor, and this is one of the few times a challenge has worked out for them.
So that was one thing that went their way, and the B’s game-winning goal was the other one in the second period.
Berra tried to play a puck behind the Florida net and rushed to beat a speeding David Pastrnak as he flipped the puck blindly off the boards. The banked pass off the sideboards went straight to an attacking David Krejci anticipating the play, and he fired the puck into the open net before Berra could scramble back into the crease.
The Krejci score held up as the game-winner, and Bruce Cassidy believed that the Bruins made their own breaks in the needed win.
“Maybe we were due one in this particular game. You make your own breaks, I find. We heard a few of our players saying that on the bench and we’ve often said that. Even the Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] goal, we were sitting there, a lot of times that goal does not go our way, gets reviewed and it goes the other way,” said Cassidy. “So we could almost look at that as, um, we got some breaks [vs. the Panthers] but I think we made our own breaks by – on that particular goal – getting to the net, getting a second chance and then with Krejci’s just good hustle.
"So good for them…whatever it takes. I think we’re going to score some nice goals, we have, we’ve got high end skilled players but sometimes you’ve got to get some hustle ones too, and we got a few of those tonight.”
The bottom line for the B’s is that they’d much rather benefit from some of those breaks at this time of the hockey season even if things hadn’t gone that way three or four months ago.